My husband recently had a conversation with a coworker who is going to Venice with his family. He had a flashback of our unforgettable experience last 2011. Then, he asked me to write a blog about it since Venice is such a beautiful city and families who are planning to go shouldn’t hesitate tagging along their kids. Proper planning is needed.
Flashback… Venice -February 2011 while I was 6+ months pregnant together with our 14-month old boy. Imagine that!
It was our 1st international flight with our son and I was pretty confident that I got everything covered. However, travel is often full of surprises and its part of the whole experience. Our journey started bad – 1st flight delayed so we missed our connection from Heathrow to Venice, leading to an unexpected reroute with a bus transfer to Gatwick with 1 bag already lost.
We stayed Venice for a few days and it was magical as expected. Actually, it was more meaningful since we shared it with our little boy.
So, here is a list of few things to consider when traveling to Venice with kids. This is a Must-Do-Check-List.
Venice is a walking city so it is a no-brainer to bring comfortable shoes and clothes. However, traveling to Venice with kids is a different story. The key is to make sure you pack enough clothes and all necessary things for your kids in your carry on. Based on experience, shopping for kids clothing is hard in Venice and there is no such thing as cheap clothing. A pair of jeans, t-shirt, and socks for my boy – it costs almost $100; I bought it anyways since the missing bag was holding most of my boy’s clothes.
This is the place that you would actually just want 1 bag. So, pack wisely.
Forget about strollers, it will only make your walk harder. We tried the backpack baby carrier but didn’t work for my husband. He prefers to just let the kid walk with us and carry him when he gets tired. However, it is worth a try; it works for other travelers.
Tip: most churches and museums have a dress code, so even in the summer, use closed shoes, long pants, and scarf or cardigan.
Example for Saint Mark’s Basilica Dress Code: shorts and mini-skirts, sleeveless or short tops are not allowed. Suitcases, backpacks, and oversize bags are not allowed into the Basilica, you can deposit them for free before your entrance at the Ateneo San Basso, next to the Basilica. The Ateneo Ban Basso is located in the Calle San Basso, which is just off the Piazzetta dei Leoni to the left of the Basilica, as you stand in front of the facade.
Venice is known by many names: “City of Canals”, “City of Water”, “City of Bridges”, and “The Floating City”. It stands to reason that access by vehicles is limited; in fact just to the Piazzale Roma so choosing the right place to stay is very crucial.
- check the location of the hotel on the map and make sure it is near the Piazzale Roma or a Vaporetto stop. Consider the bridges, cobblestones, and stairs and all this will give you an idea of the difficulty of carrying your bags. I did check the location of our hotel but missed out to plan how we are going to carry all our bags AND our little one. It was a blessing in disguise that the lost bag didn’t make it on this leg of the trip.
- stay around Venice proper; with this you are giving yourself a little treat and giving Venice a chance to prove its worth. The first timer should do this but if it’s your 2nd time then you can choose wherever you want.
You gotta know what transportation to take when arriving and departing Venice. If not, you will arrive puzzled and you might not be able to even shop for souvenirs. Smart thing to do is ask help from your travel agent or call/email your hotel to get information.
Here are the options you can take:
From Marco Polo airport
- Private water taxi known as the limo of Venice – expensive but I heard that the experience is something that you will never forget. Plus, they can bring you direct to your hotel which means less time carrying of luggage. You can book it through your travel agent in advance.
- Alilaguna public boat service – it will help you get toVenice’s historic center, the island of Murano, the Lido di Venezia, and the cruise terminals.
- Airport Link – “Bucintoro Viaggi” – shared small boat service to the major points of interests in Venice center.
- ACTV bus service -you can take this if your hotel is nearby the Piazzale Roma. or take ATVO, an express coach which runs nonstop to Piazzale Roma
From Santa Lucia Station
- You can take private water taxi if you want to enhance your experience and if money is not an issue. But for a lot of travelers, vaporetto (public boat transportation in Venice) – this is your best option. The Ferrovia landing stage is right in front of the station on the banks of the Grand Canal and is served by several vaporetto lines.
Tip: There is a luggage storage at Santa Lucia station… yay… if you are just passing Venice for 2-3days then you have the option to leave other luggage at the station.
THINGS TO DO
This is the easiest part of planning a trip to Venice with kids. Seriously, don’t stress yourself about going to all attractions and missing out some. So many things to do but too little time. To me just walking around the city is all I needed. Just walk and feel the city… eat… and then walk again. Walk.Eat.Repeat. And of course, take pictures:)
Ooooh wait… don’t miss the gondola ride;)
If you are planning a trip to Venice, email me or leave a comment and I will help you plan your Venetian getaway.